Apple has shown a tremendous amount of support for QR codes, particularly when it shunned near-field communication from appearing on its flagship iPhone and iPad devices. On the app side, Apple is using QR codes for its Passbook app.
It seems that Google is following Apple’s footsteps in this regard. The search giant has its Google Wallet service, which uses NFC. But it still is using two-dimensional codes for its Google Now service. Google Now is a predictive search assistant that functions very much like Apple’s Siri.
Google Now is able to monitor your e-mail inbox and look for boarding passes. When you get to the airport, it will serve up the 2D code that you could use to get on your flight. For now, this service is only available on United Airlines flights, but other airlines are going to be available soon.
This is just one of the many updates Google released this month. Other updates include recommendations as to what places are nearby, music recognition, product searches, as well as a reverse image lookup where you just snap a picture and Google would do the search for you.
This proves that contrary to what people are saying, QR codes are not dead. Google’s use of QR codes, even when they have a service that relies on NFC ( which is a competing technology), shows that QR codes are still very much relevant.
What’s more, it highlights the fact that there are some characteristics that are inherent to QR codes that are simply not found in NFC. The need for a physical code, whether on paper or on a smartphone screen, is something that NFC could never address.
Further, for now at least, QR codes are still more popular and accessible than NFC. All smartphones with a camera could be used to access a QR code, granting that users install a QR code scanner application.
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